Training Camp Questions: Michael Huff

Training camp is finally here and the Oakland Raiders are poised to make the 2010-2011 season their return to national relevance. Although the Raiders did a good job at addressing some key issues during the offseason, there are still plenty of questions to be answered. S&BI focuses in on some of those questions.

Can Michael Huff put together another productive season and assert himself as the definite starter at free safety? Now entering his fifth season in the NFL, it's unlikely that Michael Huff will ever live up to the expectations of being the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. His career has been inconsistent and underwhelming to say the least, and despite starting 51 of 64 career games, he has yet to showcase the consistent playmaking ability that he featured during his playing days at Texas. Still, despite the struggles of his first few years, Huff was relatively productive last season in what some might have considered a make or break year for him. At the very least, Huff has bought himself another year as an Oakland Raider, and the coaching staff is giving him every opportunity to assert himself as the clear and definite starter at free safety. Behind him is the overachieving, former undrafted free agent Hiram Eugene. Eugene has started significant parts of the last two seasons, and although he's not as fast or adept in man coverage as Huff, his superiority over Huff in the fundamental aspects of the game, particularly tackling, makes him hard to count out in the discussion. Furthermore, there's always the speculation that Huff might benefit the secondary unit as a whole by moving to corner, or at the very least, split time at both positions. The staff likes to take advantage of Huff's combination of size and coverage skills during specific situations. As such, the presence of Eugene and emerging second-year man Mike Mitchell, might facilitate such a move to corner.

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